SATRAP (Heb. pl. אֲחַשְׁדַּרְפְּנִים; Aram. אֲחַשְׁדַּרְפְּנַיָּא; Old Persian xšaçapāvan, "protector of the province"; Greek σατράπης), an official title during the Persian Empire of varying meaning. According to Herodotus (3:89–94) and contemporary inscriptional material, Darius I divided up his empire for administrative purposes into some 20 districts called satrapies. In the biblical passages where Persian officials are listed in descending order of importance, the satrap almost always comes first (Esth. 3:12; 8:9; Dan. 3:2–3, 27; Ezra 8:36; Esth. 9:3, a literary variation?). The one passage which defines the title, however, speaks of Darius the Mede appointing 120 satraps over his kingdom (Dan. 6:2). Such a division of the realm is reminiscent of the Esther narrative (Esth. 1:1; 8:9) where Ahasuerus (Xerxes, the successor of Darius), is said to have ruled over 127 provinces (Heb. medinot). The flexibility of titles as they are translated from one language to another and transferred from official to literary sources may be seen by a comparison of three sources. The Old Persian Darius Behistun inscription calls Dadarshi "satrap" of Bactria (3:13–14). The fragmentary Aramaic text apparently refers to him as "governor" (peḥah; Cowley, Aramaic, p. 252, line 18). Likewise, Tattenai, head of the Trans-Euphrates, apparently a satrapy, was called "governor" (Ezra 5:3, 6; 6:6, 13). Conversely, Greek historians occasionally used "satrap" to designate lower officials. (Bezalel Porten) The satrap possessed very extensive authority: he supervised the administration of the districts of his province, including the imposition of taxes. He had the right to mint coins in his name, except for gold coins, the minting of which was the prerogative of the emperor. He was the supreme judge and traveled throughout the province dispensing justice. He was responsible for security inside his province and supervised the highways. He also had an army which he recruited locally, but the garrisons in the citadels and the regular army were under the direct command of the emperor. The peḥah was subordinate to the satrap, who in turn was subject to the representative of the emperor, but satraps frequently conducted their own foreign policy. Sometimes more than one province was under the rule of one satrap. The office of satrap at times passed by inheritance, and there were dynasties of satraps which continued for many generations. As a result of the extensive authority bestowed upon the satrap, the Persian Empire in the course of time was a united country only in theory; in practice the forces of schism and disintegration prevailed more and more. From time to time, the great satraps rebelled, and it was only with difficulty that the emperors succeeded in overpowering them. Alexander the Great continued with the division of the country into satrapies; and it was continued by the Seleucids. The satrap of Transjordan held sway also over Samaria and Judea, and when there was a governor in Judea, he was subject to the authority of this satrap. (Abraham Schalit) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Herodotus, 3:89ff.; P. Julien, Zur Verwaltung der Satrapien unter Alexander dem Grossen (1914); Pauly-Wissowa, 2nd series, 3 (1921), 82–188; O. Leuze, Die Satrapieneinteilung in Syrien und im Zweistromlande von 520320 (1935); E. Bickermann, Institutions des Seleucides (1937); J.A. Montgomery, Daniel (ICC, 1927), 199; B. Porten, Archives from Elephantine (1968), 24, no. 93; A.F. Rainey, Australian Journal of Biblical Archaeology, 1 (1969), 51ff.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • satrap — SATRÁP, satrapi, s.m. Guvernator al unei satrapii, cu puteri absolute. ♦ fig. Conducător despotic, rău; p. gener. persoană cu apucături dictatoriale. – Din fr. satrape, lat. satrapes. Trimis de LauraGellner, 16.01.2009. Sursa: DEX 98  SATRÁP s.… …   Dicționar Român

  • Satrap — Sa trap (? or ?; 277), n. [L. satrapes, Gr. ?, fr. OPers. khshatrap[=a]van ruler: cf. F. satrape.] The governor of a province in ancient Persia; hence, a petty autocrat despot. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Satrap — Satrap, 1) Statthalter einer Provinz im alten Persien (s.d. S. 848); 2) ein vornehmer üppiger Großer, mit der Nebenbedeutung der Überhebung seiner Macht. Daher Satrapie, 1) die Provinz eines Satrapen, s.d.; 2) Beamtenwillkür, welche sich über… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • sàtrap — m 1. {{001f}}pov. pokrajinski namjesnik u Perziji 2. {{001f}}pren. samovoljan i okrutan čovjek; despot ✧ {{001f}}grč. ← perz …   Veliki rječnik hrvatskoga jezika

  • satrap — (n.) late 14c., governor of a province of ancient Persia, from L. satrapes, from Gk. satrapes, from O.Pers. kshathrapavan , lit. guardian of the realm, from kshathra realm, province (related to kshayathiya king, cognate with Skt. kshatra; Cf.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • satrap — [ satrap] noun 1》 a provincial governor in the ancient Persian empire. 2》 a subordinate or local ruler. Origin ME: from OFr. satrape or L. satrapa, based on Old Pers. kšathra pāvan country protector …   English new terms dictionary

  • satrap — sàtrap m DEFINICIJA 1. pov. pokrajinski namjesnik u Perziji 2. pren. samovoljan i okrutan čovjek; despot ONOMASTIKA pr. (prema statusu): Sàtrapa (Daruvar) ETIMOLOGIJA grč. satrápēs ← perz. kšathra pāvan: zaštitnik zemlje …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • satrap — ► NOUN 1) a provincial governor in the ancient Persian empire. 2) a subordinate or local ruler. ORIGIN Latin satrapa, from a Persian word meaning country protector …   English terms dictionary

  • satrap — [sā′trap΄, sa′trap΄] n. [ME < L satrapes < Gr satrapēs < OPers xšathrapāvan, lit., protector of the land < xšathra, dominion (< IE base * kthēi , to gain dominion > Gr ktēma, possession) + * pā(y) , to protect < IE base *… …   English World dictionary

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